FIND in
<--prev V31 next-->

From: "Nigel Price" <nigel.a.price@virgin.net>
Subject: Animated prehistorical insights into the post temporal bestiary
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 00:56:28 -0000

I missed the broadcast on telly tonight because I was out a meeting, but I'm
looking forward to watching a tape of "Walking with Beasts", the BBC's
sequel to their excellent "Walking with Dinosaurs". The series uses the same
style of sophisticated computer animation used in the earlier series but
focuses this time on prehistoric mammals and should therefore show many of
the strange creatures (smilodons etc) that we find mentioned in the pages of
the Urth cycle.

(I'm assuming that "Walking with Beasts" is going to be shown in the States,
and elsewhere? "Walking with Dinosaurs" was, and I think that I'm write in
saying that it had American co-funding.)

The creatures which inhabit Severian's world may be close analogues rather
than exact reincarnations of the extinct species whose names they bear, but
I for one am looking forward to learning more about the bizarre originals
and will hope to have a slightly better understanding of Urth's bestiary as
a result.

I take Wolfe's decision to draw on the early mammals for his post-historic
zoo to be a stroke of genius, analogous to his use of the Byzantine world
for some features of Urth's human society. For those of us who are not
mediaeval specialists, the world of Byzantium is even less familiar than
that of ancient Rome. Similarly, unless we are mammalian palaeontologists,
the early mammals are probably even less well known than their forebears the
dinosaurs. In selecting the nomenclature of Urth, Wolfe seems to have an
unfailing ear for the interestingly obscure.


<--prev V31 next-->